Hi! <Waves>

Funny and honest tales from a made-to-work Dad of three, wobbling, graying, and laughing his way through parenthood. Armed to the teeth with Nerf guns, full of pie, fighting a chocolate addiction, but genuinely honoured to be at least half of Team Parents (yay!).

23 March 2017

Twisted Tights...

It wasn't as the third pair of Miss6's tights flew past my head.
Or the skirt.
Nor was it after I growled at her 'You're going to school even if I have to drag you naked!!!'
It wasn't even after I shut her door and stomped downstairs. Fuming.
It was a few moments later when the sound of Miss6 screaming and kicking, something, in her room came floating through the ceiling.
That was when I realised that we're going to be a little late for school today.

Of course I wouldn't drag Miss6 to school naked.
Let's make clear. That's an empty threat. We're in the UK! It's brass monkeys (cold) out here. Naked is no option.
Plus my goal is just to get her to school. Not publicly humiliate her naked.
That will always be an empty threat. Which is fine.
Even empty threats have their place. They can add colour and interest to what your shouting saying. Gives it rhythm.

'You're going to school even if I have to drag you...'
Just doesn't work as well.
Add back in the 'naked'...

'You're going to school even if I have to drag you' <Does big arms> 'NAKED!!!'
And there's the drama!

(Are you sure it’s show and tell today?
… And it’s definitely planes…?)

But the dragging bit.
Oh I meant that. Not like a prisoner Obv. I'm not trying to hurt her.
Miss6 is still pretty small. I'll just pick her up and tuck her under my arm.
Which is the best way as all the pointy and kicky bits are away from me then...

OtherDad: 'Morning!'
OtherDad: 'Trouble with the daughter this morning' <Glances at wriggling Miss6 under my arm>
Miss6: <In the key of shouting> 'POO POOOOOOO'
Yeah... Not sure what the problem is... Just couldn't get her dressed this mornin’... <Shakes head le ruefully>
OtherDad: 'Enough breakfast?'
OtherDad: 'Sleep enough?'
Well enough... for her...
OtherDad: 'Did you threaten to drag her screaming?'
<Smiles> How did you know?
OtherDad: 'Haha! Well... At least she's doing her part'

Miss6 has to go to school.
Miss6 has no choice. There maybe the illusion of choice sometimes. But there isn't really a choice here. Which does it make it easier to enforce. She is going.
For many reasons:

a) It's the law in the UK (unless she's sick, and grumpy doesn't count as sick, it's annoying, but it does not count as sick)
b) I've got work. They are very not cool with Miss6 sitting with me all day. And they don't pay me if I don't go, which I still totally disagree with. How would we afford my new Nintendo Switch food if I missed work?
c) She can't be left alone. An adult must be with her, again lawy stuff. And Mrs. Amazing has already gone to work.
d) I don't trust her with the chocolate cupboard at all.

The problem was itchy tights.
Which I totally understand and sympathise with (socks for me, tights bit not so much).
I am going through an particularly long winded and challenging season of annoying-twisting-sock struggle myself...

<Is holding it together in meeting>
SomeBossTypeBloke: 'Blahy blahy blah-blah...'
<Right sock has definitely twisted>
SomeBossTypeBloke: '... blahblahy! blahy... large turnover'
<Adjusts sock>
SomeBossTypeBloke: <Sees> '... blahblahy... those are some bright socks!'
<Glances at socks> Suppose! Look they've got a funny face on them! <Points>
<Whole room looks at my socks, and the funny face>
SomeBossTypeBloke: '... blah blahy blahgoogapopoga net profit ...'
<Reflects on impression given to colleagues>
<Is sure they think I'm cool>
<Re-twists sock>

(Prone to being very smeggers twisty)

So really.
I know her pain. It's probably something she's got from me anyway. It's could even be the same pain. Maybe there's some way of seeing it as a positive. But I've no idea how.
<Un-twists barsteward sock>


BabyBoy2 is mostly dressed.
And I'm ready. So having left Miss6 to dress herself. I wisely check to see how Miss6 is getting on. As yesterday she had got distracted by very important Lego building.
That was a rush...

You're not ready! <Is starting to panic>
Miss6: 'But I made this' <Shows mad awesome Lego thingy>
Very nice... We need to leave the house in less than two minutes...
Miss6: <Still in jammies> 'OK...' <Carries on building Lego>
... I'll help you... <Rolls up sleeves>
[Three minutes fifty seconds later]
[Is awarded new dressing, cleaning, and day preparing records for a parent with a Miss6]
Now we need to run you fools...
<Legs it with buggy and Miss6 scooting>

But that was yesterday.
Today I have allowed more time. And I have found Miss6 sat on the floor. Tights half on.
Hair impressively enormous.
Sobbing a little (don't panic she sobs a lot).

Would you like some help? <Best nice Dad voice>
Miss6: <A bit sobby> '...yes'

It all started so well.
I was mega ready to be understanding and sympathetic about her twisted tights issues. I was ready to go through many pairs with her. We had time.
But what I wasn't cool with. Was the anger and the kicking.
Which grew with each attempt at putting on the tights. Her favourite pair obv. were in the laundry. And that was the pair she really, really, wanted. My patience started disappearing like chocolate in the chocolate cupboard. Alarmingly quickly.
It's very hard helping someone do something tricky and awkward. Who, just as we are about to finish, has a right ol’ paddy and takes everything off again. Screaming and kicking. Then declares they are not going to school.
As it is pooey.

Hey now! <Removes tights from head> You want my help? I am here to hel...
Miss6: <Blows raspberry at me> 'POOEY!'
But if you keep kicking me...
Miss6: <Is kicky>
Ow... ow... Stop that!

And that's where this tale started.
Me stomping off. A barrage of tights trailing behind me.
My 'I will drag you' still ringing in the air.

I left because I was losing it.
My calm. I stood outside of her room and quickly took stock of myself. I was furious.
And if I went back in I would continue to be furious and end up fighting Miss6 into her clothes. In tears (not mine). And I hate doing that.
Always feels like a fail....

Brainzilla: 'Because it is!'
Who's side are you on?
Brainzilla: 'The dark side Mine, and caffeine!'
<Whispers> Twonk...

Instead I leave Miss6.
We've got time. And I need to calm down.
BabyBoy2 is down stairs watching Paw Patrol. He moves up to let me sit and then wriggles round to sit on me anyway. My Nick fury seeps away as I sit with someone that finds Paw Patrol so exciting they have to shout at the tele.
It's nice to have someone so happy just to have you there. I calm quickly.
Then head into the kitchen to finish off getting all the bags and gubbins ready for them both.

When I come back.
Miss6 is sat there watching Paw Patrol. DRESSED. Tights on.
She apologises and we hug. I mention that if someone wants and tries to help you, it is not super cool to kick them and shout at them and throw clothes at them.
Miss6 nods. And we are friends again. All is forgiven (me, I do the forgiving).
I detangle the hair beast that has attacked her head since last night.
Whilst pondering on how to approach the final hurdle we have before we leave.

Her shoes.
A very common tight twister and Miss6 irritator. I explain to Miss6 my current twisted sock issues. And what I do to help it. And would she like to try that with me. I get a little nod of yes.
On the first attempt. The first shoe comes off again, angrily, despite my help.
But I give her my stern face.
Miss6 makes a good choice. She asks me to help her again.
I pull her tights super tight around her foot and then put the shoe on like I am defusing a bomb, so it affects none of the fabric.
Miss6 gives me the all clear. The tights are not twisted and I tighten the shoe around the tights.
'To lock it in place'. Which Miss6 totally buys.

(And that should keep them in place!
You wanna wee? … Oh… Now what was that combination...)

We leave a little late.
And have to leg it through town again. Me pushing the buggy as fast as it can cope.
BabyBoy2 cheering and whooping away at the speed. Miss6 scooting for all she's worth alongside me.

And I do all this with a smile on my face for two reasons:
1. It's really fun. Weeee!
2. Because when Miss6 had driven me utterly crazy, and I was about to explode.
I didn't walk back into the room filled with explosives with a flame thrower lit match like normal.
Instead I blew out the match...

Brainzilla: 'What was that?'
Metaphorical explosion...we’re fine...
Brainzilla: 'Nice!'
<Swaggers off>
<Stops to adjust socks>
<Forgets I was swaggering and skips instead>

14 March 2017


It wasn't our fault.
I think. I'm pretty sure. I'm sure.
It wasn't our fault. I don't think we could have reasonably avoided it.
Without affecting BabyBoy2's natural development.
Still. We did know BabyBoy2 could escape from his cot.
And it was on our watch...
<Hangs head... but only a little bit>

It was bedtime at the zoo home.
Team Parent (yay!) we're running our standard 'Divide and Conquer' repel boogies squad attack pattern. Variation Sex-Match.
Mrs. Amazing had been assigned Miss6 to convince to sleep.
I had BabyBoy2 first. Then a quick sit down. Cold tea. Then the level boss.
Bedtime war with Boy9...

Boy: 'IT'S NOT! I GO TO BED AT 7:30!'
<Face melts from sucking in anger>
Boy: '... Oh... then why can't I have another cartoon now?'
Because... <Head explodes> that's... makes no sense... What?
<Dents wall with forehead>
Boy: 'Are you OK Dad?'
How did I get down here?

Love the jammies by the way…
<Casts atrocious spell>)

And still BabyBoy2 is the easiest to convince to sleep.
It must be because he is utterly scrummy.  And a right little dude.
He has been escaping of late though.
BabyBoy2 (with Miss6's help I bet) worked out how to climb out of his cot recently.
Three mornings we been greeted by a very excited and happy BabyBoy2. Leaping on our bed. Crushing parts of Daddy that don’t like being crushed.
Sometime around 5am (it was hard to see the clock through the tears in my eyes).
And twice BabyBoy2 has been put to bed at night. And then decided sleep that night wasn't really for him. And he had climbed out again.
A real problem. Kind of want him to stay put.
Which so far he’s been awesome at. And happy about it too.
Whereas Boy9 and Miss6 had Team Parent (yay!) running to them far too much...

[Seven years ago]
Boy2: 'Wah'
Mrs. Amazing: <Cheats at scrabble>

[Four years ago]
Miss2: 'Wah'
<Ignores it>
Mrs. Amazing: 'Tada! Badger!' <Lays Badger letters>
Mrs. Amazing: 'And, double-points for a comedy word, puts me in the lead!'
Well done! You have made a mortal enemy this night <Draws blood> Great word!
... Badger <Chuckles>
Miss2: 'WAHHHH!'
Mrs. Amazing: <Cheats at scrabble, steals letters for Amaze>

BabyBoy2: 'Wah'
<Lays 'Jam'> ... and double-points for amusing word... not losing by so much now!
Mrs. Amazing: 'Is 'Jam' really a funny word?'
I'm not even dignifying that with an answer… <Giggles>
BabyBoy2: 'WAHHHH!'
Hey remember when you laid 'Badger'
Mrs. Amazing: 'Yeah...'
And then, unbelievably, you got 'Amaze' and got to lay 'AmazeBadger'
Mrs. Amazing: '...er yeah...' <Does shifty eyes>
Good times. Good times...
Mrs. Amazing: <Lays 'Windjammers' through my 'Jam'>  
Mrs. Amazing: 'You giggled! I get double-points!!!'
Damn it...
BabyBoy2: 'Zzzz' (Like a noisy angel)


Mrs. Amazing was putting Miss6 to bed.
Reading Miss6 a story and having a right giggle together. Which is lovely to hear.
BabyBoy2 also was lovely to put to bed. We giggled over who gets to sit on the chair first. Then I pretend sit on him. Gag wise a winner with BabyBoy2.
We laughed through all his bedtime books. He yawned a bit. We sang his bedtime song.
As we sing I have him in my arms and my breathing seems to calm him. Winner.
BabyBoy2 was happily laid down for a sleep. Then a quick giggle about him hiding under the duvet. And I'm gone. Door shut.
Not expecting to see BabyBoy2 until the morning.
<Shakes head ruefully>
<Does District 11 three finger salute> <Weeps over Rue>

Just Boy9 to engage in warfare with.
Over his sleep arguments and denial of clocks and their import on our lives.
First. I head into his room. ARGH. As someone mentioned there was Lego on the floor that needed clearing up. Which is probably my fault.
I bought back his huge Lego box. I lazily just balanced it on a chair. For Boy9 to properly put away later.
Yeah, yeah, what the hell was I thinking? Who knows. Boy9 might have... yeah. It was dumb.
Somehow (the smegging Cat) the box had fallen over and there was Lego all over the floor.
Lots and lots and lots of Lego.

<Makes a spaceship>)

So that's where I am.
In Boy9's room scooping Lego up from the floor with my hands.
Mrs. Amazing is busy with Miss6.
And Boy9 is downstairs watching cartoons, not helping at all with the Lego. <Grumbles>
When a strange noise is heard throughout the house...


I ignore it.
So does Mrs. Amazing. It was probably one of BabyBoy2's teddies being expelled from his cot for some unknown offence. I go back to Lego scooping.
Five, maybe six, seconds pass when the most almighty cry of pain comes from BabyBoy2’s room...


I am already up and running.
And passing Miss6's room. Mrs. Amazing calls out to see if I am going to see BabyBoy2.
I holler yes as I pass.
BabyBoy2’s room is pitch-dark so I flick on the light.
There on the floor I see a very confused. On his side. Cross and crying loudly.
BabyBoy2. Who had fallen when escaping his cot.
(No don't laugh you heartless swines <Tuts>)

Whilst BabyBoy2 was doing his parkour (Free running).
Which involves pulling a chair to his cot, so he can pull himself up and out.
In the dark.
The poor little lad had slipped.

I hug the crap out of him.
I envelop my little dude in my arms as much as I can. And sink to the floor.
His crying is very loud and it resonates with pain. His eyes scream at me 'Why does everything hurt so much right now! What is this! ARGHGGGH! It sucks!'.
It will pass. But right now he needs to be held and loved. A lot.
There’s a bruise on his head already. Poor sausage.
I do a mini-triage: His eyes are behaving like normal, speech is fine, shouty, and mainly ‘ow’, but fine, he's not dopey and he’s behaving like himself (when in pain and cross).
I'm happy his head is just bruised.

BabyBoy2 finally calms.
And is ready for sleep take-two. BabyBoy2 winces a bit as his head touches his pillow.
Poor little dude. My heart goes out to him.
Falling in the dark is not fun.

Obv.ly Team Parent (yay!) are appalled at this turn of events.
And discuss what we can do to make sure this doesn't happen again.
Don't want our little BabyBoy2 getting hurt.
He's scrummy.

(I know how we can protect him!
Mrs. Amazing: ‘Isn’t that Miss6’s’

On the other hand he’s not tried to escape his cot from again. Which is a right bonus to Team Parent (yay!). And it does save me having to upgrade his cot to a bed. And the chair in his room is the only one he has, so it wouldn’t be ideal to get rid of it...
And BabyBoy2 does seem to be staying put...
For now…
<Walks quietly off, whistling>

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